25th Anniversary of Karakoram Highway (1978 - 2003)


  Date of Issue (October 01, 2003)    



Karakoram Highway (KKH) has a total length of about 1300 kilometers in the most impressive and desolate landscape. It passes through three great mountain ranges i.e. the Himalayas, Karakorams and Pamirs. Most of the road is overshadowed by towering barren mountains and a high altitude desert that enjoys less than 100 millimeters of rain a year. Indus River flows through the Karakoram Highway for over 200 kilometers. Here KKH together with the Indus divides the mountain ranges of Himalayas and Karakoram Range and winds around the foot of Nanga Parbat, (one of the tallest peaks of the world). The Highway then leaves the Indus for Gilgit, Hunza and Khunjerab rivers to take on the Karakoram Range, which has 12 of the 30 highest mountain peaks in the world. By the time the road reaches the Khunjerab Pass (4,733 meter height), it crosses the high Central Asian plateau before winding down through the Pamirs to the fabled Chinese City of Kashgar, at the western edge of the Taklamakan Desert.

2. Karakoram Highway follows the eastern direction of many silk routes along the valleys, of the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza Rivers to the China border at the Khunjerab Pass. By this route, Chinese silk, Ceramics, lacquer ware bronze, iron, furs and spices travelled to the West, while the wool, linen, ivory, gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, asbestos and glass of south Asia and the West travel East. The route was also travelled by medieval sages including Fa Hein and Heung Sang; and the illustrious Al-Beruni who devoted a complete chapter on the geological features of the area in his "Kitab-al-Hind",

3. In March 1963, Pakistan and China signed a historic border agreement. Three years later, the two countries agreed to construct a road that would provide a hitherto non-existent road-link for mutual benefit. The Highway, a symbol of Pakistan-China Cooperation, took ten years to complete. The Highway is an incredible feat of engineering and an enduring monument to the 810 Pakistanis and 82 Chinese who lost their lives during construction work in what is probably the world's most difficult and unstable terrain. In 1986 the border at Khunjerab was opened for travel and business. The road has spurred the commercial activity between the two countries. It has also provided a cheaper and convenient instrument for contact between Pakistani and Chinese people who for centuries were insulated by a hostile geography.

4. Karakoram Highway has a strategic importance that overarches the whole region. It forms the Asian 'high road' loop that binds Pakistan and China and can also serve as a link between China and the Central Asian states.

5. Karakoram Highway is a marvellous symbol of Pakistan-China cooperation and friendship.




Size of Stamp:
29 x 34 mm

Size of Print:
25 x 30 mm


Rs. 2/-

Multi Colours Litho Offset

Printing Inks:
Cyan - Magenta - Yellow - Black
by M/s. Sicpa Inks Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd.

No. of Stamps in each Sheet:
20 Stamps (5 x 4)

Paper / Grammage:
Chancellor Litho PVA Gum Paper 102 gms

Paper Manufacturer:
Tullis Russell Coaters UK

Colour Separation Processed on:
Crossfield Drum Scanner/ Processor

0.5 Million

Adil Salahuddin

Post Office Foundation Press, (Security Division) Karachi.

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